The Rams are coming off a 7-8-1 season which just happens to be their best record since going 8-8 in 2006. Last season the Rams beat the 49ers, tied the 49ers at candlestick, beat the Seahawks, and beat the Redskins, all of which were playoff teams. The Rams went 4-1-1 in arguably the best division in football, went 7-8-1 with one of the toughest schedules in the league, and yet they still fail to get any recognition and respect from the so called experts and other fans.
The small recognition and little to no national coverage is understandable and part of the reason they are underrated, but am I the only one sick of hearing about the Jets, the Jets, the Jets, and the Cowboys? The Rams would at least be something different. The Rams have posted one of the worst records over the past decade and still have something to prove and then they might get some coverage. The tides may be turning however, as the Rams have two home games that will air on primetime. The first one is in week 4 against the 49ers on Thursday night and then the Rams play the Seahawks week 8 on Monday Night Football. If the Rams can win both of those games or at least make them close, more coverage could be on the way.
One thing is for certain, the league feels the Rams are on the rise and deserve some national recognition, but the experts and fans still don’t believe. The Rams either still have a year or two left until they are “ready” to compete, won’t be able to overcome the loss of Steven Jackson, last year was a fluke, or they are still the same old Rams. Well wake up NFL, because these are not the same old Rams.
The Rams shouldn’t have been ready to compete last year, but somehow they did. There were some bumps along the way because they had a lot of young players, but at the end of the season the Rams were only a game and a half out of a playoff spot which nobody predicted, not even the most die-hard Rams fans. One of those young players that stepped up last season was Daryl Richardson who showed that he has the potential to help carry the load at running back with Isaiah Pead. They wont be Steven Jackson, but they will get the job done. This team will prove that last year was not a one time thing and they will be a respectable team for years to come.
Jeff Fisher has brought a mentality to this team that many people seem to rule out and forget. Fisher took a team that was destined for failure due to a poor prior regime and Fisher had this team fighting every game and shocked many opponents in the process. The Rams only lost four games last season by double digits whereas the year before it seemed like the Rams were down double digits by halftime every game.
From what Ive been hearing the average fan and expert is predicting the Rams to win anywhere from 4-9 games. When somebody said that the Rams were going to win four games, I shook my head and called them crazy. The Rams are so much better than a four win team, and when somebody said nine, my thoughts were, you know Id be happy with that, but the Rams can do a little better. I think many Rams fans would back me up on this. This proves that the Rams are being underrated and everyone is writing them off as a small contender for a playoff spot if a contender at all. It’s always nice to see an expert who sees the Rams as they really are and thinks they are a playoff team. There are only a handful that do. Here is an article on nfl.com that has the Rams in the playoffs http://davedameshek.nfl.com/2013/05/14/the-2013-pro-shek-tions-offseason-edition/
The Rams were good last year and got even better this offseason. They solidified there offensive line and got Sam a big target in Free Agency. They also went out and got one of the best college football wide receiver duos as well as one of the best linebackers in the draft. The Rams have improved greatly from last year and will be ready to compete this year. How they aren’t being talked about is mind boggling. However, there is always a team that sneaks under the radar and makes their way into the playoffs. The Rams may just be that team this year. It’s almost better for it to be this way. NFL teams don’t have the Rams’ number like they will the 49ers’ or the Seahawks’. The Rams will be able to sneak under the radar once again this season and hopefully make it to the playoffs. Rams fans have seen it coming, but the rest of the league and the media have not.
The Rams still have a lot to prove this season, if they can be just as successful this year as they were last year, the Rams will start to get some recognition, however if the Rams have another year like they had in 2011, they will spend the next five years getting absolutely no recognition once again. The Rams have a franchise quarterback in Sam Bradford, who finally has some weapons, and a top 10 defense. This team has the pieces needed in order to win. Jeff Fisher will have his team ready with a go out there a prove how good you are mentality, and don’t be surprised if one of the most underrated teams in the NFL rises to the challenge.